North Bay Councillor: Green Energy Act is Horribly Wrong

By Gord Young, North Bay Nugget

City politicians complained Monday about new environmental legislation which takes away from municipalities a say in where renewable energy projects are permitted.

I’m genuinely incensed,” said Mayor Vic Fedeli, referring to the loss of authority over planning approvals for renewable energy projects under the Green Energy Act.

Council was presented a report published in a national municipal magazine in January outlining the implications of the legislation, adopted by Queens Park in May, 2009.

The report says municipalities have lost all powers to block, alter or control energy generation projects within their borders under changes aimed at streamlining the approval process.

Council heard from staff that proponents of such projects no longer have to come to the municipalities for zoning approvals under the planning process. Instead, applications for such projects go directly to the province, although some consultation with municipalities and neighbours is required.

Council also heard residents have lost the right to appeal a planning decision regarding a renewable energy project to the Ontario Municipal Board. Instead, residents can take their objections to the Environmental Review Tribunal, but only on grounds the project will cause serious harm to human health or serious irreversible harm to plants, animals or environment.

I think this is horribly wrong,” said Coun. Judy Koziol, suggesting the city could end up with developments it doesn’t want.

Council raised similar concerns in April 2009 shortly before a visit to North Bay from then Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman.

Asked about the concerns, Smitherman suggested municipalities will ultimately see their fears are unfounded.

This is a piece of legislation that our government is advancing that will make it easier to bring more renewable energy to life in the province of Ontario,” he said.

7 thoughts on “North Bay Councillor: Green Energy Act is Horribly Wrong

  1. Welcome to the Club….Now every muncipality can have Green Energy projects that they don’t want…If I recall correctly NOBODY signed on for this fascist piece of legislation….The death of Democracy in rural Ontario…

  2. Consider this:

    We have no choice but to make an unprecedented stand in rural Ontario. We must join the unprecedented grass roots groundswell of opposition to the abuse of power by the Liberal Majority Government and the Premier of Ontario Mr. Dalton McGuinty.

    I am asking the Ratepayers of rural Ontario to join me by withholding your property taxes across rural Ontario. I am asking you to write to your MP’s and MPP’s and give notice that you will not in good conscience condone or support this flagrant abuse of power by our elected officials.

    Tell them that you wish to secede from Ontario until such time as your trust and confidence can be renewed in Ontario governance.

    Only you can make it happen, will you make a stand to preserve democracy in Ontario?

    I am betting my farm on you.

  3. A little late to be “genuinely incensed” isn’t it?…………where were all these councils back in May of last year when this Bill was being rammed down our throats?

    WE Rural Folks have been driven into a corner like rats!

    The threat of Secession is a huge stick to carry and unfortunately may be the last tool in our arsenal that we can use to show these politicians that we are serious about “saving our homes and families” from their destructive agenda!

  4. Am I missing something? I have several large wind turbines in view out of my home and I haven’t experienced any negative effects in any way. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health just released a study stating that wind turbines have no effect on your health. Is this threat to your homes and families about health or aesthetics?

    Compared to the health effects of nuclear waste, or god forbid, meltdown, or coal-fired generators causing 1 in 3 kids to have asthma, or oil spills destroying the environment, I welcome renewable energy projects.

  5. Yes, Matt. You’re missing something.

    Not everyone has adverse effects but if it were your child who was one who did have the effects, would you care?

    Arlene King’s “review” was not a study…it was a glorified google search. No research was conducted. She refused to talk to any of the 100+ people in Ontario experiencing symptoms. This was simply a political exercise.

    Wind power will not replace nuclear or coal. It is non-dispatchable. In other words, both systems must be maintained. Oil is not used for electricity production so it really has no bearing on this discussion.

    I welcome renewable projects as well if they are viable and will actually produce any solutions. From worldwide experience, wind does not do it. Denmark and Germany have not reduced CO2, in fact, Germany is now building 26 new coal plants to backup their huge investment in wind.

    Do a little more research. Dig a little deeper. I know many who were pro-wind who changed their mind once they actually cut through the green fog. I know NONE who went the opposite way.

  6. Great response MA. You do us all proud. If only we had a bigger soap box. I wish you could be interviewed on the NATIONAL NEWS.

  7. You hit the nail on the head MA. Minimal
    research will expose the baseless claims,
    exagerated half-truths and down right lies
    expounded by the wind industry. For those
    that have been greenwashed, you are very
    naive and very gullible. Get educated
    people as to the truth.

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